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2006 Mumbai serial train blast convict dies of COVID-19 in Nagpur hospital

11:49 AM Apr 20, 2021 | Bhavna Uchil

51-year-old 2006 Mumbai serial train blasts convict Kamal Ahmed Mohammed Vakil Ansari died after he contracted COVID-19 in the Nagpur Central Prison. Ansari died at the Nagpur government hospital on Monday after 10 days of hospitalization including the last few days on ventilator support, Ansari’s family has now alleged that the Nagpur Central Prison authorities informed them only a day before he died, that he was unwell.

Ansari’s brother Jamal Ansari, who lives in Bihar, said he had spoken with his elder brother on April 2 through a video call. “He told me to take care of my mother and sister, and said he was not angry with me.” Jamal said that his brother had not told him any about his being unwell or him experiencing any symptoms during the phone call. Jamal is now reached Nagpur after learning about his brother’s death.

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The family claims that it was through a WhatsApp group that they learnt about Kamal having tested positive for the virus and was hospitalised. A person acquitted in the 7/11 Mumbai serial train blasts had asked people to pray for Kamal’s health.

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“I called the jail on Friday when I got to know about it and asked to speak with him. They said that he was hospitalized but was doing fine. They could not let us speak with him, they said,” said Jamal. Jamal added that he has now learnt that his brother had been in hospital for ten days before he passed away.

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Nagpur Central Jail superintendent Anup Kumar Kumre said that Ansari was tested on 8 April as he showed symptoms of cold and cough and as a precautionary measure, he was admitted the next day in hospital. “We did not inform the family because his positive report had not come,” said Kumre. Kumre said Ansari had been on oxygen support for quite some time and on a ventilator since three to four days before his death. He negated allegations that the jail had not informed the family when he was hospitalized and said that a doctor had spoken to the family about his condition. “We had told them to come if they can,” he said.

On September 30, 2015, Ansari, along with five others, was sentenced to death for murder under IPC, and under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Explosives act and Maharashtra control of organized crime act (MCOCA) for having allegedly transported Pakistani national from Nepal border to Mumbai, for procuring explosive materials, and for planning a bomb in a train which exploded at Matunga police station and also for having undergone terrorist training in Pakistan. Seven others were sentenced to life imprisonment. However, Ansari had contested his conviction and filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court which is still pending.

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